Legal History Blog: Mayeux on "What Gideon Did"
Sara Mayeux, Sharswood Fellow, University of Pennsylvania Law School, has posted WhatGideon Did, which is to appear in the Columbia Law Review 116 (2016):
Clarence Earl Gideon (DOJ)
Many accounts ofGideon v. Wainwright’s legacy focus on whatGideon did not do — its doctrinal and practical limits. For constitutional theorists, Gideonimposed a preexisting national consensus upon a few “outlier” states, and therefore did not represent a dramatic doctrinal shift. For criminal procedure scholars, advocates, and journalists, Gideon has failed, in practice, to guarantee meaningful legal help for poor people charged with crimes.
Drawing on original historical research, this Article instead chronicles what Gideondid — the doctrinal and institutional changes it inspired between 1963 and the early 1970s. Gideon shifted the legal profession’s policy consensus on indigent defense away from a charity model toward a public model. By 1973, this new consensus had transformed criminal practice nationwide through the establishment of hundreds of public defender offices and the expansion of lawyers’ presence in low-level criminal proceedings. This Article describes these changes primarily through the example of Massachusetts, while contextualizing that example with national comparisons.....